The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex have come together for their first joint engagement since they were pictured attending the annual church service at Sandringham on Christmas Day.
Kate, 37, and Meghan, also 37, attended a reception in the White Drawing room at Buckingham Palace thrown by the Queen to mark the 50th anniversary of her son Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales.
Their husbands, along with Prime Minister Theresa May, were among the guests at the event honouring Charles’s contribution to the national life of Wales over the decades.
Charles was created the Prince of Wales at the age of nine, on July 26 1958, and was formally invested with the title at Caernarfon Castle by the Queen on July 1 1969.
The investiture regalia he wore was on display, including the coronet, sword, ring and rod, as well as the Letters Patent for the creation of Charles as Prince of Wales in 1958.
Brushing aside ongoing rumours of a rift, the Duchess of Sussex looked elegant as she joined Prince Harry, 34, to mark Prince Charles’ fifty years of service to Wales, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Meghan cut a graceful figure in a recycled £895 Amanda Wakeley coat teamed with a floral embellished dress as she stood alongside Harry during the celebrations on Tuesday, joined by Kate and Prince William, 36.
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cambridge looked stylish in a mint-coloured blouse dress featuring ruffled sleeves and a button-up collar, which she teamed with suede nude heels.
Prime Minister Theresa May was pictured curtsying as she greeted the Queen, with both parties opting for vibrant purple ensembles for the occasion.
Dressed in a smart pinstripe suit and patterned tie, the Prince of Wales was seen chatting to actor Owen Teale and opera singer Wynne Evans, who is well-known for his role as the tenor Gio Compario in the Go Compare insurance adverts.
Welsh band Stereophonics, who were supported by the Prince’s Trust in their early days, were also at the event, as was Games Of Thrones star Owen Teale.
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The Duchess of Sussex, 37, was pictured wearing a recycled £895 Amanda Wakeley coat with a floral embellished dress as she joined Prince Harry, 34, for a reception at Buckingham Palace thrown by the Queen to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Investiture of The Prince of Wales
Meghan wore her hair in its signature relaxed bun, coordinating her nude suede heels with a blush satin clutch bag as she arrived at the reception as she joined Prince Harry, 34, to mark Prince Charles’ fifty years of service to Wales, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth
The Queen added a vibrant splash of colour to the exclusive party, arriving in a purple brocade blazer and a lilac polka dot dress by Stuart Parvin, an amethyst and diamond brooch and her trademark Launer London bag.
She was followed by Meghan, who wore her hair in its signature relaxed bun, coordinating her nude suede heels with a blush satin clutch bag.
The Duchess of Sussex, who is between seven and eight months pregnant, dressed her blossoming baby bump in a stylish brocade dress embellished with a metallic floral pattern made by a private dressmaker.
She teamed the flattering silver number with an £895 Amanda Wakeley coat, £205 Wilbur & Gussie oyster silk clutch, £525 Paul Andrew pumps and £215 Maison Birks gold bar earrings.
Known for playing it sartorially safe, the Duchess of Cambridge opted for a pale blue gown that looked almost identical to a Beulah dress she wore on a visit to Kuala Lumpur in 2012.
Meanwhile Harry, who appeared to be drinking water perhaps in solidarity with his pregnant wife, looked smart in a navy suit, injecting a splash of colour with a turquoise tie.
Welsh veteran Simon Weston later revealed he joked with Harry about the Wales vs England game, and after being teased about their defeat Simon said: ‘I warned him and the Duchess it serves him right as they will be getting plenty of sleepless nights when the baby is born. He said if they have anymore than two it will serve him right.’
The Duchess of Sussex was pictured looking down at her bump as she met Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who appeared to be congratulating her on her pregnancy, as they mingled at the reception.
The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a high neck mint-coloured blouse dress featuring ruffled sleeves and a button-up collar, which she teamed with suede nude heels as she mingled with guests at the star-studded reception on Tuesday
The Duchess of Cambridge put on an animated display as she spoke with guests at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
The whole family reunited! A rare picture shows Queen Elizabeth joined by the Prince of Wales, and (rear, left to right) the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex all seen close together for the event
The Duchess of Cornwall was pictured wearing a green ensemble by Bruce Oldfield as she mingled with Kelly Jones, lead singer of the Stereophonics.
The event, also attended by Princess Anne who opted for a checked double breasted coat, will celebrate a range of Welsh charities, organisations and businesses.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was also in attendance to give a speech to mark the anniversary.
Notably, the prince’s father, the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, who has retired from official duties, did not attend.
His brothers, the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex, were also absent. Andrew was said to have private commitments, while Edward had an official Duke of Edinburgh’s award engagement at St James’s Palace.
The archbishop said: ‘Never in the history of the role can there have been such dedicated service, such honourable fulfilling of the promise at the Investiture, ‘I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship, and faith and truth I bear unto you, to live and die against all manner of folks.’
‘Service was in the oath, and service has marked the 50 years, service often publicly unnoticed, unseen.
‘A role has been imagined and developed, different to that of the Sovereign, probing, asking, suggesting and prompting, yet always in the service of Crown and country, under God.’
He went on: ‘The Investiture was unique. Seldom can a coming-of-age have had such a setting; seldom can the weight of expectation have been so great.
‘In years since then, we have seen how the honour of being granted that title has been richly repaid – in The Prince of Wales’s love for the country whose name he bears, and in the deep respect he has always shown for the land, for the language, and most of all, of course, for the people.
‘As we look to the future, on behalf of all here and so many across these Islands, the Commonwealth and around the world, I express gratitude for your tireless work, and heartfelt appreciation for all that you, with the wonderful support of The Duchess of Cornwall, have done, are doing, and will do.’
Apart from the Queen and the prince, there were two guests who had also been present at Charles’s investiture in July 1969: Lady Susan Hussey, a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, and Sir Nicholas Soames, the Conservative MP and an old friend of the prince.
Among the guests were leading figures in Welsh and UK public life, as well as representatives from The Prince of Wales’s many Welsh charities and patronages, including The Prince’s Trust Cymru, Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales.
The reception culminated with a musical performance in the ballroom by students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, of which The Prince of Wales is Patron.
The performance included a new piece written for the anniversary by Welsh composer Paul Mealor, inspired by the legend of the Lady of Llyn y Fan, a mountain lake near The Prince of Wales’s Welsh home, Llwynywermod in Carmarthenshire.
The Queen added a vibrant splash of colour to the exclusive party, arriving in a purple brocade blazer and brooch, teamed with a lilac polka dot dress and her trademark Launer London bag- as Prime Minister Theresa May curtsied, coordinating in a similarly coloured skirt and suit ensemble
The Prince of Wales speaks with actor Owen Teale and singer Wynne Evans, right, who is well-known for his role as the tenor Gio Compario in the Gocompare.com insurance adverts, at the reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
The Duchess of Cornwall was also pictured as she mingled with with Kelly Jones, lead singer of the Stereophonics, at the reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
Prince Harry looked smart in a navy suit, injecting a splash of colour with a turquoise tie, as he walked arm-in-arm with his pregnant wife Meghan, who looked radiant with minimal make-up and understated jewellery
The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a pale blue gown that looked almost identical to a Beulah dress she wore on a visit to Kuala Lumpur in 2012, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales today
The Duchess of Sussex was pictured looking down at her bump as she met Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who appeared to be congratulating her on her pregnancy, as they mingled at the reception at Buckingham Palace
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex looked in good spirits, and Harry appeared to be drinking water as they mingled with VIP guests at the event to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex put on a tactile display at the reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
The event marks the first time the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex have been pictured together since December.
Kate and Meghan were last pictured on Christmas Day at Sandringham where they joined the royal family for the annual church service, putting on brave faces at the height of rumours about their so-called ‘strained’ relations.
Just days later reports followed claiming that the wives of Windsor, whose ‘differing personalities’ were said to be at the centre of the rift, were reported to have got on famously during the festivities.
A source told The Sun at the time: ‘They were chuckling along together. You wouldn’t know there was any tension between the two. It was a wonderful day and night.’
The Duchesses have already had a busy calendar of royal engagements this year, however their public schedules haven’t crossed over- until today.
Prince Charles looked smart in a pinstripe suit as he attended the reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
Happy couple: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex beamed as they mingled with guests at the event, with a glowing Meghan showing off her natural beauty under minimal make-up and opting for understated accessories
Expectant parents Meghan and Harry beamed with happiness as they walked arm-in-arm to the exclusive reception to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
The Duchess of Sussex looked elegant as she joined Prince Harry, chatting with Simon Weston and Alun Cairns and cradling her bump for the star-studded event today, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
The Duchess of Cornwall speaks with actor Owen Teale and singer Wynne Evans, right, star of the Go Compare adverts as they celebrated the Prince Of Wales’ service at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday
Meghan looked effortlessly elegant in her pastel ensemble, opting for minimal blusher and delicate earrings as she joined Harry at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
Harry and Meghan, who kept her coat on for the reception, put on a tactile display as they met Simon Weston and Alun Cairns (right) at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary
Revealed: The sphere on Charles’ investiture coronet is actually a gold-plated PING PONG ball
The gold coronet, placed on Prince Charles‘s head at Caernarfon Castle by his mother in 1969, will be displayed at the celebration attended by all senior members of the royal family today.
But the coronet, designed by celebrated goldsmith Louis Osman, hides an astonishing secret which makes it rather unique among the monarch’s crown jewels.
The orb in its centre is actually made from a ping pong ball.
The historic coronet that a 19-year-old Charles wore as he took on the title of the Prince of Wales in 1969. What the Prince didn’t realise at the time was that the original headpiece had been smashed at the top…and a replacement was hastily made using a table tennis ball
Pin pong prince: Charles pictured after the ceremony wearing the coronet specially made for the 1969 investiture
Now, for the first time, David Mason, a 74-year-old retired chemical research manager from Warwickshire who made the striking gold circlet, tells the true story of the so-called ‘imposter coronet’ – including how the original design was smashed with just days to go, forcing him to drive with a hastily made replacement in the back of his unguarded Mini van.
Mr Mason was just 28 when he received a call in March 1969 from Mr Osman at his office at Engelhard Industries in Cinderford, then the world’s largest refiner of precious metals.
He wanted to discuss a revolutionary new field Mr Mason was working in – gold electroforming – and revealed he had been asked to produce a headpiece for Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales.
Game of wiff waff? Prince Charles receives the crown from the Queen during his investiture as the Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle back in 1969
Apparently the existing coronet, last used by the future Edward VIII, had always been worn over a wig, but when Charles tried it on without one, it had slipped down over his head.
The prince apparently told Mr Osman that he wanted a new oval design to fit ‘a modern young man with a modern haircut and whose ears show’.
Tuesday marks the first time they have been seen together in public since Christmas Day, as the date of Meghan and Harry’s move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Castle draws closer.
Kate and Meghan have attended eight events together since she married Prince Harry in May 2018.
After the 19th May wedding, they were first seen together attending Trooping the Colour on 9th June for the Queen’s Birthday.
The following month Meghan attended the christening of Prince Louis on 9th July in the Chapel Royal at St James Palace.
Just a day later Harry, Meghan, William and Kate all attended the centenary of the Royal Air force in Buckingham Palace and were pictured smiling together on the balcony.
And in July the Duchesses put rumours of a rift to the side as they attended the Wimbledon championships together, their first outing without their husbands.
As rumours of a rift became more prominent, the royal ‘Fab Four’ attended Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank on 12th October in Windsor.
In November, they both attended a reception for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday, but were not photographed together.
Later that month Meghan and Kate were both present at the Cenotaph in London for Remembrance Day to celebrate the centenary of the Armistice.
Pictured: Prime Minister Theresa May attends a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
Theresa May put on a bold display in a purple skirt suit and statement necklace with a matching bracelet, speaking to guests as she celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wale
Getting on royally! Meghan and Princess Anne were seen giggling as they chatted during the event to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
The Princess Royal wore a checked double breasted coat and coordinating leather clutch and shoes as she attended her brother’s event, mingling with Meghan
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Princess Royal (right) attend a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II meets performers at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales on Tuesday
Happy famlies: Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales, followed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke (obscured) and Duchess of Sussex at the reception today
How Prince Charles’ 1969 investiture was marred by hostility from Welsh extremists
Charles was just nine years old when he was created the Prince of Wales when on 26 July 1958.
He was formally invested with the title by the Queen 11 years later on 1 July 1969 at Caernarfon Castle when he was 20.
The investiture was televised and watched by an audience of 19 million people in the UK, and millions more worldwide.
Princess Margaret’s then husband the Earl of Snowdon was responsible for the design of the ceremony at the castle in north Wales.
A fresh-faced Charles – who is now the longest-serving Prince of Wales and heir apparent – knelt before the Queen to receive the insignia of office and pledge allegiance.
While the prince was saluted by cheering crowds showing their loyalty and affection, he also faced hostility from Welsh extremists who attempted to mar the investiture with bomb attacks.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with the Prince of Wales during his investiture at Caernarfon Castle on 1 July 1969. The day was marred by violence from Welsh extremists
The day had started with news that two men had died in a gelignite explosion at Abergele, 15 miles from the castle. One of the men was tattooed on his chest and back with ‘Free Wales Army’.
Then a bomb blast at railway sidings rattled windows in the centre of Caernarfon 10 minutes after the arrival of the train carrying the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Charles and other members of the royal family.
A bomb in a suitcase, marked with the initials ‘FWA’, was later found on the road to Holyhead taken by the prince after the ceremony.
Then in the early hours of July 2, a soldier died when an explosion wrecked an Army van only yards from the castle.
Charles’s 50th anniversary – his golden jubilee as the Prince of Wales – will be very different to his silver jubilee in 1994.
The 25th anniversary of his investiture came in the midst of the War of the Waleses, and just days after the screening of the controversial television documentary in which Charles admitted he had been unfaithful to Diana, Princess of Wales after their marriage had broken down.
A police sergeant examines the hole at the point of the explosion at Abergele, Denbighshire, on the day of the investiture
Rumours of a royal rift between the women began swirling after news emerged that Meghan and Harry will move away from Kensington Palace to make their home 25 miles away from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Windsor.
There were claims that Kate became emotional over Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid’s dress fitting, ahead of Meghan and Harry’s wedding in May, as well as suggestions the pair had clashed over staff.
However, royal insiders have insisted that there has been no falling out between the Cambridges and the Sussexes, but admitted the pair are ‘very different people’.
A source previously told the Daily Mail’s Rebecca English: ‘While there are some tensions behind the scenes, Kate is pretty unflappable and nothing has become bad enough to make Harry and Meghan want to move out.
‘People are genuinely pleased to see them so happy. The truth is that there simply isn’t enough room at Kensington Palace for them and I know they have been looking at Windsor as a possibility since before the wedding.’
Royal insiders have said there has been no falling out between the Cambridges and the Sussexes, seen the last time on Christmas Day at Sandringham,and explained that the pair are simply ‘very different people’
Kate and Meghan’s joint engagements since Meghan and Harry’s wedding
19 May: Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry at Windsor Castle
9 June: Trooping the Colour in London
9 July: Prince Louis Christening at St James Palace
10 July: Centenary of the Royal Air Force in London
14 July: Ladies final of the Wimbledon Championships
12 October: Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank in Windsor
11 November: Remembrance Day service, centenary of the Armistice in Westminster Abbey
14 November: Prince Charles’ 70th birthday reception in London
24 December: Christmas Day church service in Sandringham